The Spark

“The emancipation of the working class will only be achieved by the working class itself.” — Karl Marx

Time to Abolish Night Work!

Aug 20, 2012

Since at least 1871, when it was banned in Paris by a workers’ government, night work has been known to kill.

In recent years, different studies have underlined the increased risk of heart attacks and strokes, as well as the danger of falling asleep on the job. Not that any of this has dented the bosses’ unabated enthusiasm to squeeze as much work as they can get out of every plant.

Now a new study from the Danish Cancer Society shows that women night workers have a 40% increased risk of breast cancer, providing yet more ammunition against this silently murderous form of exploitation.

Of course, some night shifts, in hospitals or transportation, for example, may always be necessary. But that could be compensated by extra days off, shorter shifts and early retirement.

Don’t we work to live rather than to die early from occupational disease? Non-essential night work must go: It should have been abolished long ago!